It's been a long time between blogs but I'm back. Thanks Kim for your encouragement.
I've been thinking a lot about grace again. It's a while since I read Philip Yancey's 'What so amazing about Grace' but lately grace has been on my mind.
Partly, I think it's because Christmas is a time when 'false grace' is very prominent. You'll probably know what I mean. Family members who never have anything to do with each other because of unresolved differences manage to exchange smiles and act civilly toward each other over Christmas. Once Christmas is over it's back to the status quo until next Christmas.
Real grace is permanent.
Christmas is a celebration of real grace.
While we were still sinners Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8) I know that's more of an Easter verse but it started at Christmas.
A lot of people, including me, struggle to understand true grace. The definition I like best is simply 'Undeserved Favour'.
It's about showing favour toward someone who has done nothing to deserve it.
It's about freely forgiving others when they've wronged you.
It's about apologizing for the times you've hurt others (even when you didn't start it!)
It's about building bridges.
It's the glue of healthy relationships.
Grace is the smoothie you get by mixing all the fruit of the Spirit together in the blender of life.
This happens over time, through perseverance and under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
The word 'graceful' is a very misused word today.
The first thing that comes to my mind is a dancer gliding across a stage. Their movements flow from one movement to the next in time with the music.
Maybe if we were more graceful (Full of Grace) in our lives our journey would flow along smoother than it normally does. Maybe we wouldn't let disagreements and opposition be stumbling blocks that make us look anything but graceful.
Maybe there's a good reason why the Bible so often says 'Grace be with you'.